2Chapter 20: The New Frontier and the Great Society Objective: To understand the achievements and challenges of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations
3Time covered in this chapter: 1960-1967 John F. Kennedy (D):Lyndon B. Johnson (D):
4Section 1: Kennedy and the Cold War Main Idea: The Kennedy administration faced some of the most dangerous Soviet confrontations in American historyWhy it matters now: America’s response to Soviet threats developed the United States as a military superpower
5The Presidential Election of 1960 Context of the election of 1960:The economy was in recessionThe USSR had launched Sputnik 1, making American anxious about falling behind in technologyA communist, Soviet-friendly government had been established in Cuba Americans were questioning whether the United States was losing the Cold War
6Presidential Election of 1960 The Candidates:The Democratic candidate was Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy while the Republican candidate was Vice President Richard M. Nixon.Both candidates had similar positions on policy issues, but 2 factors helped put Kennedy over the top: television and the civil rights issue
7The Televised Debate Affects Votes Kennedy seemed to be the underdog: He was inexperienced (young), plus many Americans were worried about the fact that he was CatholicWould be influenced by the Pope and/or would create closer ties between Church and StateKennedy and Nixon agreed to appear in a televised debate; the first between presidential candidatesKennedy looked and spoke better than Nixon“That night, image replaced the printed word as the national language of politics” –Russell Baker, journalist
8What effect does television have on American politics? -think how it affected the Nixon-Kennedy debate
9Kennedy and the Civil Rights Issue October 1960: Police in Atlanta, Georgia arrested Martin Luther King Jr., and 33 other demonstrators for sitting at a segregated lunch counter. King was sentenced to months of hard labor- officially for a minor traffic violation. President Eisenhower refused to intervene; Nixon took no public positionJohn F. Kennedy reached out to King’s wife while his brother, Robert, persuaded the judge to release King on bailThis captured the immediate attention of African-Americans, whose votes helped Kennedy win key states in the Midwest and South
10The Camelot YearsElection of November 1960: Kennedy won by fewer than 119,000 votes.The Camelot years: a new era for the White House, one of grace, elegance, and wit.The press loved the Kennedy’s charm and wit, and helped to bolster JFK’s imageThe Kennedy family fascinated the public, celebrity statusKennedy surrounded himself with a team of advisers one journalist called “the best and the brightest”“ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country” –John F. Kennedy
12A New Military Policy Kennedy focused on the Cold War He thought the Eisenhower administration had not done about the Soviet threat: Soviets were gaining loyalties in third-world countries of Asia, America, and AfricaKennedy did not think brinkmanship was the way to goSo his administration developed a policy of flexible response: having options for responses to conflicts other than nuclear attackincrease defense spending to boost conventional military forces, for non-nuclear attacksCreate the Special Forces: elite branch of the armyTripled the U.S’s nuclear capabilities The U.S. could fight limited wars around the world and still maintain balance of nuclear power with the Soviet Union; reduce the risk of nuclear war
13What was the belief behind the flexible response policy? -what’s good about having options other than just nuclear response?
14Crisis over Cuba Fidel Castro had taken over Cuba Castro openly declared himself a communistCastro welcomed aid from the Soviet UnionAfter Castro seized three American oil refineries and expropriated land for the peasants, the U.S. congress erected trade barriers against CubaPresident Eisenhower had cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba for those reasons
15The Bay of Pigs Invasion (April 1961) In March 1960 President Eisenhower gave permission to the CIA to secretly train Cuban exiles for an invasion of CubaThe plan was that once the exiles invaded, the people of Cuba would join them in an uprising against Fidel CastroKennedy learned of this plan nine days after his election, he approved it.
16Bay of Pigs InvasionOn April 17, 1961: 1,300 to 1,500 Cuban exiles, supported by U.S. military, landed on Cuba’s southern coast at Bahia de Cochinos, or Bay of Pigs. Nothing went as planned.
17Bay of Pigs InvasionAn air strike had failed to knock out the Cuban air forceA group that had been sent to distract Castro’s forces never reached shoreWhen the main commando unit of American-trained exiles landed, 25,000 Cuban troops backed by Soviet tanks and jets were already waiting for themKennedy paid $53 million in food and medical supplies for the release of the prisonersAmericans “look like fools to our friends, rascals to our enemies, and incompetent to the rest.”It was a highly embarrassing fiasco for Kennedy
18-how did the U.S. “pay” for this failure? What were the consequences of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion for the U.S.?-how did the U.S. “pay” for this failure?
19The Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) Castro had a powerful ally in Moscow (Soviet Union): Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev promised to defend Cuba with Soviet armsPresident Kennedy responded with a warning that America would not tolerate offensive nuclear weapons in CubaPhotographs taken by American planes revealed Soviet missile bases in CubaThese nukes could reach American cities in minutes
20The Cuban Missile Crisis On October 22, 1962: President Kennedy informed the nation of the existence of Soviet nuclear missile sites in CubaHe made it clear that any missile attack from Cuba would trigger an all-out attack on the Soviet UnionAfter this announcement, Soviet ships, thought to contain more missiles, headed to CubaThe U.S. responded with a quarantine of Cuba (keep ships from entering Cuba) the world faced the possibility of nuclear war
21The Cuban Missile Crisis The first break in the crisis occurred when the Soviet ships stopped before reaching the American quarantine line to avoid a confrontation at sea“We are eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow just blinked.” – Dean Rusk, Secretary of StateA few days later, Khrushchev offered to remove the missiles in return for an American pledge not to invade Cuba. The U.S. also secretly agreed to remove missiles from Turkey. The leaders agreed on all these points, and the crisis ended.
22Who “saved the day” during the Cuban missile crisis? -who did the most to avoid nuclear war?-who made the moves that would lead to war?
23Crisis over Berlin (summer 1961) Berlin was a city divided, one side under Soviet rule, the other part of U.S.-backed West Germany.Many East Germans escaped communist rule through the border between East and West Berlin. These refugees told the public the reality (failure) of communist rule, and their departure weakened East Germany’s economy
24Crisis over BerlinKhrushchev wanted to stop this problem of people leaving East Germany. He threatened to sign a treaty with East Germany to close all the access roads to West BerlinKennedy refused to give up U.S. access to West BerlinKhrushchev decided to put up a wall. East German troops erected the Berlin Wall: a concrete wall topped with barbed wire that separated East Germany from West Germany.the wall did reduce the number of people that left East GermanyThe wall became an ugly symbol of a human race divided and of Communist oppression
26Why did Khrushchev erect the Berlin Wall? -what was he trying to stop?
27Searching for Ways to Ease Tensions Both Kennedy and Khrushchev were aware of the gravity of split second decisions that separated Cold War peace from nuclear disasterIn 1963, Kennedy announced that the U.S. and Soviet Union had established a hot line between the White House and the Kremlin; to communicate at once should another crisis ariseThe United States and Soviet Union also agreed to a Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963): banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere